Culture warrior Doug Ducey disses good jobs for a myth (and kissing Trump’s ass) – busted!


In a post earlier this week about Donald Trump hijacking the 4th of July to make it a “Salute to Trump” campaign rally and fundraiser, I pointed out that much of what you think you know about American history is mythology:

Historical Note: One of the most widely held misconceptions about the Declaration of Independence is that it was signed on July 4, 1776. In fact, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It was not actually signed until August 2, 1776.

The John Trumbull painting that most Americans think of as the signing of the Declaration of Independence actually depicts the five-man drafting committee presenting their draft of the Declaration to the Congress, an event that took place on June 28, 1776, and not the signing of the document, which took place much later. Much of what you think you know about American history is mythology.

Prepare to have your mind blown: the apocryphal story of Betsy Ross designing the first American flag that we were all taught in grade school is but a myth and a legend. There is no historical evidence to support it. Here is what says:

Elizabeth Griscom Ross (1752-1836), was a Philadelphia seamstress, married to John Ross, an upholsterer who was killed in a munitions explosion in 1776. She kept the upholstery shop going and lived on Arch Street, not too far from the State House on Chestnut, where history was being made almost every day. According to most historians, she has been incorrectly credited with designing the first Stars and Stripes. The story has enormous popularity, yet the facts do not substantiate it. Lets begin with the legend itself.

George Washington was a frequent visitor to the home of Mrs. Ross before receiving command of the army. She embroidered his shirt ruffles and did many other things for him. He knew her skill with a needle. Now the General of the Continental Army, George Washington appeared on Mrs. Ross’s dooorstep around the first of June, 1776, with two representatives of Congress, Colonel Ross and Robert Morris. They asked that she make a flag according to a rough drawing they carried with them. At Mrs.Ross’s suggestion, Washington redrew the flag design in pencil in her back parlor to employ stars of five points instead of six. (“Her version” of the flag for the new republic was not used until six years later.)

This account of the creation of our first flag was first brought to light in 1870 by one of her grandsons, William J. Canby, at a meeting of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. This took place 94 years after the event supposedly took place! Mr. Canby was a boy of eleven years when Mrs. Ross died in his home.

In the many years since the story was told, numerous historians have conducted vigorous searches into extant government records, personal diaries,and writings of Washington and his contemporaries and none of them have been able to verify the claims of Canby. One verifiable fact is this; the minutes of the State Navy Board of Pennsylvania for May 29, 1777, say in part “An order on William Webb to Elizabeth Ross for fourteen pounds twelve shillings, and two pence, for making ship’s colours,&c, put into Richards store”. The minutes show that Elizabeth Ross made ship’s colors for Pennsylvania state ships. Some of the facts, among others, that have been discovered by this research that cast doubt on Canby’s claim are these; He asserted that the stars and stripes were in common if not general use soon after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, nearly a year before the resolution of Congress proclaiming the flag. There is no record of the flag being discussed or of a committee being appointed for the design of the flag in either the Journals of the Continental Congress or the diaries and writings of Washington around this time. Meetings with Colonel Ross and Robert Morris cannot be documented. Further, it is illogical to assume that Washington was present at the alleged meeting with Betsy Ross on the design of the flag when it is known that he wanted a national standard made for the use of the army in 1779.

But I think that the question that begs to be asked is; Why have so many generations of Americans come to accept this legend as fact? After Canby’s death, a book written by his brother George Canby and nephew Lloyd Balderson was published in 1909. The book, The Evolution of the American Flag, presented in more detail the claims for Betsy Ross made by William Canby in 1870. Among other things, the authors describe the formation of the Betsy Ross Memorial Association, and reproduced a painting by Charles H. Weisgerber depicting the alleged meeting of the committee of Congress with Betsy Ross (right). The picture, entitled Birth of Our Nations Flag, is actually a composite portrait made up of from pictures of her granddaughters and other decendants. The artist took liberties with history by painting the stars in the flag in a circle. This painting, incidently, stirred a great deal of public interest in the subject when it was first exibited, at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Following this, money to purchase the Betsy Ross house in Philadelphia was raised by selling ten-cent subscriptions to the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association, incorporated in 1898. Each contributor received a certificate of membership that included a picture of the house, her grave in Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia, and a color reproduction of the Weisberger painting. This campaign gave the legend wide publicity and the Weisberger painting was reproduced in school history textbooks thoughout the United States!

Here is more on this myth and legend from, and, which explains:

We probably will never know who made the first flag. We do, however, have a good idea about who originated its design. Credit for that achievement may go to Francis Hopkinson, a New Jersey representative to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Hopkinson was a talented man with a strong interest in designing symbols. He played a role in creating the Great Seal of the United States, the Continental Board of Admiralty seal, treasury seal, and American currency. Documents also show that he worked on the first official United States flag. Hopkinson’s role was addressed in a series of letters in which he sought payment from the government for design work on projects, including the flag. Officials rejected his claim, alleging he received help on the flag, but acknowledged his contribution.

Which brings me to this week’s grand distraction story from far more important things happening right now, the Betsy Ross sneakers from Nike.

Jim Small at the AZ Mirror reports, Ducey, now an attention-seeking culture warrior, goes full Trump by torching Nike deal:

Meet Doug Ducey, culture warrior.

Also, meet Doug Ducey, attention-seeker.

In the same way that some conservatives burned their Nike apparel last year after the company created an ad campaign featuring former football player Colin Kaepernick – whose respectful silent protest of police brutality against minorities forced people to confront ugly realities about existing racial problems in our society – our governor Tuesday morning publicly torched a package of state tax give-aways to Nike.

Ducey, who rode to the governor’s office as a champion of economic-growth-at-all-costs and had never seen a corporate tax break he didn’t like, suddenly is throwing in with the own-the-libs crowd who set their shoes ablaze and smashed their Keurig coffee machinesto make a political point.

Those who destroyed their own property last year because someone had a different perspective on life did so with a “look at me” attitude. Likewise, Ducey’s Nike-related declaration is clearly aimed at getting attention and burnishing his bona fides as a Trump-era conservative.

But unlike those people, Ducey is using the power of government to bully a business and threaten the future high-paying jobs of more than 500 Arizonans.

The governor is incensed because Nike had the audacity to make a business decision not to offend some of its customers. Specifically, it chose to scuttle plans to sell shows featuring the 13-star “Betsy Ross” flag. Nike’s decision came amid a private complaint from Kaepernick and public criticism from other people of color that the flag has been appropriated by white-supremacist groups and that it represents a time in American history when anyone who was not a white man was oppressed.

In a middle-of-the-night Twitter thread that was oh-so-coincidentally timed to get him maximum play on the national stage – the thread posted at 2 a.m. Arizona time, or 5 a.m. on the East Coast, just in time to make the morning national news shows – Ducey slammed Nike for abruptly canceling sales of the limited-edition $140 sneakers.

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“Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism,” Ducey wrote on Twitter. “It is a shameful retreat for the company. American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it.”

To retaliate against Nike, Ducey announced that he is ordering the Arizona Commerce Authority to “withdraw all financial incentive dollars under their discretion” that were being given to Nike so it would build its plant in the West Valley and hire some 500 or so Arizonans.

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That amounts to about $1 million from the Arizona Competes Fund, which exists to use tax dollars to provide subsidies for large companies to relocate or expand to Arizona. To receive grants from the ACF, companies must meet specific thresholds for number of jobs created, average pay and capital investment. All of which is to say that the purpose of the fund is to attract high-wage jobs to a state that ranks 38 in per capita income.

Not to worry, though, because Arizona’s economy will keep humming along even without Nike. “We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history,” Ducey wrote on Twitter.

Ignoramus. It’s not our history, it is a myth and a legend (see above).

The City of Goodyear might disagree that losing Nike is no big deal. On Monday night, the city council agreed to give away $2 million to lure Nike to invest $185 million on a building and hiring at least 500 workers. Those jobs will pay on average more than $48,000 a year – about 36% more than the $35,000 per capita income in Goodyear as a whole.

And Ducey’s hand-waving the jobs away because “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike” surely means little to the people who would actually perform those jobs when the plant opens a few years from now.

(Whether large tax incentives are actually good public policy is a separate debate, but there’s no disputing that Ducey has long favored them as a way to attract businesses to Arizona.)

Already, Ducey’s reaction to Nike has prompted New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to publicly court the company.

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It’s no coincidence that President Donald Trump, who Ducey has suddenly become very enamored with after years of keeping his distance, hates Kaepernick and hammered Nikeover its ad campaign.

Doug Ducey’s head is so far up Donald Trump’s ass that he bumped into Sean Hannity.

Ducey’s strongman routine against Nike marks the third time in recent months that the governor has stiff-armed big business as he scampered to show fealty to a president who values shows of loyalty above all else. In April, he flip-flopped on Trump’s threat to close down the U.S.-Mexico border. In May, Ducey was the only border governor who stood with Trump’s call to implement stiff tariffs on Mexico in response to a surge of migrant families seeking asylum in the U.S.

Whether Ducey is angling for a spot in Trump’s cabinet or has his eyes on 2024 (maybe as a potential running mate for Vice President Mike Pence’s bid for president), it’s clear that he has concluded that the only way his political career continues beyond his current office is to embrace the Trumpification of the Republican Party.

And as Trump has demonstrated again and again, the currency of today’s GOP is overwhelmingly white grievance. 

Only a few years ago, Ducey told the legislature to stop sending him controversial measures that made Arizona a national punchline and professed that his administration’s “main focus is our economy.”

Now, he’s singing from the same hymnal as the man he once called a diversion and governing by tweet.

If Doug Ducey wants to be the next racist Donald Trump, Arizona needs to ditch this pathetic loser now.

UPDATE: Here is hypocrisy for you. Republican governor sports Nikes two days after trashing its decision to pull Betsy Ross flag shoes:

The Cococino County Democratic Party tweeted out a photo of Ducey wearing black sneakers with a white Nike swoosh on the side, and KNXV-TV confirmed the image was authentic.

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Here is the expanded photo:

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  1. John K. Every argument an obfuscation of the real issues. Voter supression. Petition supression. Permanent Tax giveaways to the rich and very special interests. Beating cities and school districts over the head. And kowtowing to the cultural zealots. You dont care about the history of Betsy Ross or the flag. Stir up the base, just like Ducey, thats all that counts. Who cares about Nike’s internal marketing decisions. Flag waving hypocrites do.

    • Obfuscation?? Voter suppression and petition suppression? What are you talking about? And since AZBlueMeanie was defending the tax giveaway to Nike, I will let him answer that one.

  2. I found your attack on Governor Ducey to be weak and evasive. It is weak because you cherry picked his criticism of Nike and even then, the attack you made is weak. You said that because Betsy Ross may not have created the flag that bears her namesake, Nike isn’t dissing her by cancelling the sneaker. But the flag still bears her name, so she still is being disrespected.

    Your attack was evasive because it ignored the second part of Ducey’s criticism, which was that Nike is wrongfully engaging in political correctness and historical revisionism. Ducey’s second argument is the really important one because it shows how off-the-wall some members of the far left have gone. I say “some” because many liberals are equally disturbed and amused by this ridiculous attack against the Betsy Ross flag.

    Now I won’t criticize you as defending the attacks on the Betsy Ross flag because you never gave your opinion of the attacks. Since you are a commentator who never hesitates to offer an opinion, I hope you will tell your readers and me what you think about the claim that the Betsy Ross flag is racist because it was created at a time when the country was racist and because today some racist groups have used it.

    I thought it especially hypocritical of you to attack the governor for threatening jobs by taking away the tax credit for Nike. Almost all of the Democrats that I spoke to this session opposed such tax credits because they see them as tax cuts that take money away from education. Do you disagree with them? Are you now a fan of tax credits? Or is it that you just can’t resist taking a shot at the governor, even if that makes you a hypocrite.

    • Hilarious!

      “Nike is wrongfully engaging in political correctness”!

      So someone points out to Nike that a symbol they’re using has also been used by racists, and you believe that Nike, a private company, is “wrongfully” depriving you of your right to a product that Nike, a private company, does not want to sell you!

      I’m not a lawyer, but that’s gotta’ be a tort or something! Sue ’em!

      Fake conservative exposed, and it’s hilarious. Thanks for the chuckle.

      As for the rest of your comment, State Senator Doctor John, wow, what a long drive to SillyTown that was.

    • And another thing, and wow, there is so much in your post that contradicts everything you supposedly stand for, the hypocrisy is on your party, because you all have been saying forever that the government shouldn’t “pick winners and losers” in business.

      But you give tax breaks and then later use those tax breaks to punish them for doing something you don’t “philosophically” agree with.

      And yeah, pretty much every one back in the early days of the USA had slaves and was racist, the US Constitution had racism written in, remember?

      “Wrongfully”. Hilarious! Let us all know when you get a tight five together at well come out to the comedy club to support you.

    • I think I made it clear that I believe this Nike story is a “grand distraction” from far more important issues, and you prove my point. You have not commented on the human rights abuses occurring in migrant detention centers. Instead you focus on this politically correct story like the “snowflake” that you are. And no one has forgotten that you and your buddies Russell Pierce and Joe Arpaio were behind some of the most vile racist anti-immigrant hysteria in Arizona.

      The so-called “Betsy Ross” flag was no more racist than the “don’t tread on me” flag from the revolutionary war era, but both have been misappropriated by white nationalist who dare to call themselves “patriots.” They are not.

      The legislature has been trying to rein in cities using tax credits to attract businesses for years. But Republicans gave Governor Ducey a slush fund, the Arizona Competes Fund, from which he can reward businesses with incentives and then claim credit for having attracted businesses to Arizona. That is where the hypocrisy lies. Look in the mirror.

      • “I think I made it clear that I believe this Nike story is a “grand distraction” from far more important issues, and you prove my point.” does not answer my question but evades it, cleverly though.

        My question was, “…what you think about the claim that the Betsy Ross flag is racist because it was created at a time when the country was racist and because today some racist groups have used it.”

        • That’s not a claim, it’s a fact.

          Ducey’s Nike debacle will cost Arizona, but nothing like the 2 billion dollars your racist little SB1070 push cost us, State Senator Doctor John.

          Racism is expensive.

          • “The so-called “Betsy Ross” flag was no more racist than the “don’t tread on me” flag from the revolutionary war era, but both have been misappropriated by white nationalist who dare to call themselves “patriots.” They are not.” THAT IS NOT AN ANSWER.

            Are you saying it is not racist because its being misappropriated by racist groups does not matter or are you agreeing with those who say it is racist because racist groups have used it? You use the past tense for it being non-racist. What about now? That is my question. For a journalist, albeit unpaid and self-published, you are too quick with the insults and too imprecise in your language. Try a writing course.

          • Really? You only comment on this blog to troll with insults, so that’s rich coming from you. The flags are not racist. The white nationalists who misappropriate them are, like you.

          • The symbol has been used by some bad people that Nike, a private company, does not want to be associated with.

            Ducey wanted to show some of those bad people that he’s got their backs, because he’s a politician, and wants their vote. There is no other reason for him to get involved in the issue, and in fact, I would hope he has better things to do.

            So he’s taking some heat, nationwide, and not doing Arizona proud. Just like you did with SB1070.

            This is not rocket science, now please, at this point, I’m embarrassed for you.

  3. Shame, shame, shame on you Dougie. You will piss away 500 jobs just to buy some possible future political capital. Nike shoes mean nothing to you. But punching Colin Kaepernick is a popular right wing bromide. Please resign and go stiff some Cold Stone franchise holders. You were good at that.

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